Serotonin, one of the feel-good hormones, is a chemical substance produced in the body’s nervous system. This chemical is believed to affect many functions in the body, including sleep, food consumption, and even mood.- Therapeutic Activities
Basically, serotonin controls our physical and mental well-being. Hence, this hormone must be sufficient to allow the proper functioning of different body systems.
A 2007 Research Study found that depression is linked to low serotonin levels. Meanwhile, the lack of serotonin in the body has also been associated with anxiety and insomnia. Other feel-good hormones are dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin.
Today, some fun activities have been found to maintain a sufficient level of the feel-good hormone in the body, inciting positive emotions and a therapeutic feeling in individuals, including older adults.
Interestingly, these pastimes do not only improve the overall health of older folks but also serve as suitable recreational activities. Check this article to learn about residents’ outdoor activities at Seasons Retirement communities.
Below are some excellent therapeutic activities suitable for older persons.
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1. Regular exercise
Exercise forms the basis of physical therapy, and constantly engaging in workout activities helps maintain older adults’ fitness levels. That said, mental health benefits are also attached to a regular exercise routine.
Regular exercise induces the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters in the body. These chemical substances primarily relieve stress in the body.
Moreover, endorphin secretion makes exercise an excellent therapeutic activity for your older folk, as it boosts their energy levels and reduces the risk of depression.
Now, the most effective therapeutic exercises are specifically low-impact workouts. Examples of low-impact activities suitable for older adults include yoga, swimming, golfing, fishing, and strength training – to name a few.
2. Music therapy
The famous saying ‘music is food for the soul’ explains how good songs and tunes help keep our soul and mind healthy. Everyone has their kind of music and enjoys listening to them for different reasons, including therapy.
Music is pretty soothing, and it can render a calming effect on your older loved one. Basically, listening to music will help elevate the mood and improve the emotional health of an individual. So, when your loved one is feeling down, playing their favourite songs or album can make them feel better.
Furthermore, listening to music has been found to boost the brain’s cognitive function and memory function, reducing the risk of health conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Creating music can be therapeutic as well. So, if your loved one is interested in making music, you can encourage them to learn to play musical instruments or join a musical group.
3. Animal therapy
Animals, as we all know, are lovely and capable of providing comfort and company to us. For this reason, interacting with pets is one of the effective therapeutic activities for older adults.
Whether by housing a pet or visiting animals outside their home, your older folk can benefit from bonding with an animal.
Reduced risk of depression, elevated mood due to serotonin release, improved general well-being, enhanced social connections, and companionship are benefits of animal therapy.
Mindful meditation is one of the best activity ideas for seniors. It involves focusing the mind on a particular item, thought, or activity to enhance one’s attention and awareness to attain a calm and stable state.
Mindful meditation does not only train the mind to be aware but also helps alleviate stress and maintain a good state of mind. So, your loved one can achieve deep mind relaxation by engaging in regular meditation practice.
To practice meditation, your older one can sit in any position that helps them focus. However, they must choose a serene environment for this activity. Remember that about 10-15 minutes of daily meditation should be done nicely.
5. Art therapy
Creativity is often a result of a release of energy and emotion. It is a form of self-expression that can be pretty comforting, and it lays the foundation for art therapy. When your loved ones express how they feel through art, they feel better about themselves.
Additionally, art allows your older ones to focus on their thoughts and helps improve their sense of general well-being. Painting, sketching, photography, scrapbooking, dancing, and so on are various forms of art and hobbies for your loved one.
As simple as it may seem, going on strolls is one of the effective therapeutic activities for older folks. Walking brings a sense of tranquillity and calm, causing a reduction in the body’s stress levels.
While strolling alone is an excellent form of therapy for adults, walking in groups can be just as helpful or even better. Walking clubs, for example, offer an opportunity for your older relative to socialize.
7. Video and board games
Gaming is one of the best recreational activities for seniors. Video and board games are a great form of entertainment that will provide the stimulation your older one needs to stay sharp physically and mentally.
Video games, especially virtual reality games, can enhance coordination and balance in your loved ones, reducing their risk of falls and injury.
Meanwhile, mental games like crossword puzzles, sudoku, and word searches can help improve your older one’s cognitive and memory function.
8. Spending time outside
Staying outdoors, preferably in an environment with a good nature view, is a good way for older adults to spend their leisure time.
Spending time outside offers a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery which, in turn, helps alleviate stress and bring a sense of calm to your parents or grandparents.
When your older loved one is outside their home, they can engage in fun and exciting activities. Gardening, fishing, and camping are great outdoor activities for older folks.
From this article, you must be aware that there are several therapeutic activities for older adults. And that these recreations offer significant benefits to your older one’s physical and mental health.
It is now up to your parents or grandparents to select therapeutic activities that will interest them and maybe improve their quality of life.